HARLEM, OLD BILL & LOSKI’S LOSS?

Okay, if you caught the post about Harlem’s latest release ‘Calling My Line’ I said I’d investigate why Loski wasn’t featured on the track – when all things considered – he obviously sould’ve been! Like, man’s been completely shuttin’ it down out ‘ere with a string of singles – particularly ‘Cool Kid’ which’s been bussin’ up da place since it landed; not to mention the original version of ‘Forrest Gump’ which – by popular opinion is a deeper version of the official release – with the general consensus being there were some clearance complications due to the samples in the track.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I’ve done two-two investigations and spoken to couple sources who’ll have to remain anonymous, but word on the road is the Cozza’s AKA The Jakes AKA Fed have been putting pressure on Loski to stop releasing music with his original crew; which would explain why Bis and Zico have been in cohorts holding it down for the Harlem brand. I’ve still got some investigating to do. But for now at least, it’s looking like the end of the Harlem Spartans as we know them. Things could change as Loski’s profile grows and he earns the clout to bring his brudda’s back in fold and allow the Harlem brand to flourish. But at this point the jury’s out at this point on all fronts.

Are Old Bill really breaking the crew up? That’s a question imma get the answers for. But for now, just know that if they are, they’re ruining what was set to be a team of talented young musicians from fulfilling their full potential.

To be continued…

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

GASWORKS; WHERE BOILER ROOM, COMEDY & AUTHENTIC URBAN CULTURE COMBINE

GASWORKS is a new chat show brought to us by the gang at Boiler Room. Hosted by Poet – most notable for presenting Copa90, #HALFCAST podcast and nuff different shows and appearances on GRM & Channel U (RIP) classic ‘Never Gonna Blow‘ Alongside his 19 year old, loud and lairy co-host Alhan Gencay who’s unfiltered opinions stimulate the most ridiculous and subsequently hilarious conversations. Alhans opening gambit on every show so far being “So, are you a bocat?”; just to put things in to perspective…

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I gotta take my hat off to Boiler Room on this one. Some people may see the brand as the spiritual home of ecky’d out hipsters flaying about to pretentious House DJ’s on their live streams, but this show fully delivers on it’s alternative appeal as an “Urban” music based chat show hosted by credible presenters. Another show contributing to our elevating British Urban Music Scene and it’s representative culture. It’s not just informative for the Boiler Rooms likely less informed core fanbase; but it fuckin’ joke! And if you’re naturally sceptical – as I can imagine you would be – you can check the first three episodes below to form your own opinion.

Episode 1 featuring Frisco who – as the first guest – is completely taken aback by Alhan’s standard opening question – along with his unruly attitude. But this dynamic – as it continues to – gives the show it’s unique appeal. With Poet holding fort as the mature and self aware co-host balancing the madness.

Episode 2 features Biskit who – if you didn’t know already – gained his notoriety for feeling up his Mum’s batty on Snapchat for “Jokes”. Poet and Alhan don’t hold back on drawing him out and questioning his deviant behaviour and warped sense of humour. Biskit pretty much exposes himself as an absolute eediat, a bit of a weirdo and I’m glad someone finally did.

Episode 3 featuring Iran – on this occasion – Alhan doesn’t get away with his usual antics, b’cah Irah aint ‘avin it! None of it! But, he still holds it up as the root of the vast majority of memorable moments.

This show is definitely got legs and I for one am looking forward to the next episode and seeing the show develop. More shows, more life, more celebration of the culture. Keep up the good work lads.

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

DIY UNIFORM LIFE, STYLE & SELF ESTEEM

For the past couple years now I’ve almost exclusively been rockin’ garms customised by myself, and intend to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Reason being – although there’s plenty of known brands that I don’t need to name that’ve been supplying stylish quality clothing for time. This era of Hype and overbearing brand culture seems to have informed the misinformed concept of style. Kids seem to be lost in the “Supreme Sauce”.

Originally brands like Supreme used to be a symbol that represented skaters and style conscious youngers of a prior generation – myself included. People who wanted to present their character and culture through their clothes.

So for me and a new generation of young people who’re returning to expressing their style – not fashion sense; their ‘style’, by building independent brands, investing in indie brands and customising their own clothes, is and continuing to be a growing trend I – in me own little way – are trying to contribute to.

As JME once said in the Wileys Classic Club-banger ‘No Qualms’ “I wear my own garms” and that’s become a way of life for me. Not just coz I wanna shit on corporate driven youth culture, but to genuinely express style and individuality, also an attitude that seems lost in young London today.

There’s nothing wrong with droppin’ two-two Supreme or Two-Two Palace or two-two Ralphy, but – if you consider yourself a style focused individual – just do it for the right reasons; because you genuinely rate the piece. Or, as a status symbol – but to be blunt if you’re that insecure; I’d slylee recommend you stop spendin’ on the Supreme and start spending on a therapist. Because in reality, men and women head to toe in Primark clobber are arguably more stylish than some of these generic hypey heads out here purely because they buy based on taste and on not trend. It’s not about what you own, it’s about “owning” it.

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

BL@CK BOX: BENEATH THE UNDERGROUND

Media platforms and British Urban music lovers alike regularly pay homage to GRM and Link Up for there considerable contributions to our celebrated Urban music scene – and rightfully so. They both played an integral role in breaking artists and promoting broader British youth culture and the music that’s been spawn from it in particular. But it seems as though people don’t hail up the East London based YouTube channel “Bl@ck Box’s contributions to scene enough.

Like JDZ Media for the midlands, East London based organisation has championed unknown talent since the early ascent of our scene – and in some regards – have been a spring board to the later success of a lot unknown artist. The most obvious being ‘Abra Cadabra’ freestyle which that took the Tottenham rapper from zero to a hundred real quick; bearing in mind that the track ‘Robbery’ that had the iconic barz that catalysed his rise was already floating about. His 10 minute freestyle on that channel stimulated the viral affect that created his initial buzz.

I intend to get an interview with the guys behind the Channel/Studio so to learn more about how it all came together and there motives and vision for the brand long term. But for now, considering Link Up and GRM in relative terms are mainstream channels, let’s tek time to appreciate two-two percy freestyles that gave accurately represent their notoriety as a credible representation of underground rap talent.

RUPTION (2013)

ABRA CADABRA (2016)

MOVER (2012)

POTTER PAYPER (2013)

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

LOUTS, LIFE & VINTAGE BRITAIN VIA SWEDEN: AN INTERVIEW W/ SNERESEKONCERNEN

Sneresekoncernen is an Instagram account I’ve been obsessing over for a good old portion of a year now. Essentially they post images of working and lower-middle class culture from the 1970s to the present. Think casuals (sport and smart), rotary clubs, M25 raves, Barratt estate architecture, grey football stadiums and the crap football they housed.

The photos are so thoroughly well researched though – it beggars belief as to where they’ve been found. You find yourself swooning over a photo of a far from sober party of mums and dads captioned in a narrative of fact and fiction. It’s nostalgic, but celebratory, and documents the design, fashion and lives of an often ignored part of British culture.

I had no idea how I found them or who was behind the account so the fascination grew further and – being the curious man I am – resulted in this with Q&A with Sneresekoncernen’s Fredrik Jansson.

What is Snereskoncernen? Who are you? And What does the name mean? From lurkin’ on your IG I get the strong impression that you must be a Swedish collective?

Sneresekoncernen is Swedish and means a corporate group that travels in a strange way. The verb Sneresa is also a word that the swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg (1898-1973) used in his literature, but back in those days it meant miscarriage. We created Sneresekoncernen when we got lost by purpose in South East London once. And yes, we are based in Stockholm.

Flag-Pins-Sweden-Great-Britain

Broadly, you post working-class / lower-middle class subculture photos from 70s to 90s – where did this interest come from? Do your backgrounds play an influence in this? 

We love pictures of everyday life. We come across private albums of photos, and if we come across a birthday party in a pub in Solihull in 1992 with a cake shaped as a football pitch it’s even better. We’re fascinated by all these small communities of people collecting; dried flowers for example. Nothing beats the feeling of entering an underground train in Central London on a Saturday and finding yourself in the middle of some cute community on their way to their convention. Well designed and conservative looking social logos and petal discussions. We love subcultures and passionate people, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Shropshire Begonia Society or the Drum’n’Bass producers responsible for the releases on Metalheadz between 1994-1996. All of us grew up in different subcultures, it shaped us as individuals.

Due to public demand. Maria and Sean in Farnborough 1988

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How do you find your images? It feels like you have a knack for uncovering personal photographs that obviously aren’t by professionals, do groups on social media sites play a part?

We google our pictures. Screenshots from documentaries is another way. And, yes, to find old private albums and make up stories about the photos is probably the best way. We haven’t tried groups on social media sites yet, but will probably do it now since you mentioned it.

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Drunk people feature prominently, what attracts you to these images? Is it about shining a light on community/relationships that are shaped by communal drinking or is it more amusement at red-faced sesh-monsters your parents age?

We like to mess a bit with the alcohol norm and pub culture. We’re not interested in showing people who’re vomiting in some alley outside a boozer. It’s more relevant and fun to post pictures of some lunch gang from a dull office who are out having a pint after work. If we can find pictures showing some early 90’s aesthetics it’s even better, of course. This ongoing lager and pub phenomena is fascinating and a great source of humour.

Football is another recurring theme, who do you support? How do you feel about the current trend for 90s football attire? 

We support all teams in the lower divisions. Preferably Non League teams. It’s a nice and friendly atmosphere at those games. Perhaps get some new friends in the stand or find a really old turnstile hidden under some debris. The 90’s casual revival is totally irrelevant to us.

A post shared by @sneresekoncernen on

Who are your number one sources for style inspiration?

The 90’s versions of John Major and Goldie are still great stylewise.

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POSTED BY: BOBBY JEWELL

IT’S FINALLY HERE… BUT, WHERE’S LOSKI DOH?

After droppin’ this spchiel on insta a while back about the preview of this hook from an – at the time – unreleased Harlem Spartans track which you can scope below…

🇬🇧A lot of man are sceptical about the future of @harlemspartans largely coz man like @tg_millian @blanc0b0urne & @mizormac are all in the can for antics; have been for over a year now, and it’s looks like only Blanco and seemingly TG will be touchin’ road this year. But with that said, man like @loskiharlem @bisharlem3k @zicoboogie are doin’ bits on the block. So let this deepa hook from a relatively recent nondescript studio session I slapped in a post on @watsonroselondon not long ago if ya missed it be a reminder that these #KENNINGTON tug’s got talent. And as a crew, I wouldn’t write ‘em off still! 🔊❄️☝🏾#RESPEKANLOVE 🙏🏾🖤✨ #HARLEM🅾️ Side note: they better bloody put this tune out cah ah’man’s cattin’ for that 320 y’zeeit… 😏🤷🏾‍♂️

A post shared by TIMI WATSON-ROSE™ 🌹 (@timi.watsonrose) on

At long last the tune finally late last weej. The verses weren’t as solid as I would’ve hoped – though Zico and Bis hold it down, slylee. But, largely because certain Spartans weren’t features – namely Loski, TG, MizorMac and Blanco – arguably because the latter 3 are currently doin’ bird. But it does beg the question; where was Loski? A question I intend to find the answers for because Zico and Bis have been holdin it up for Harlem despite Loski doin’ bits independently of late which may be at the heart of his absence…

But for now we’ll appreciate the song for what it is; a bludclart banger! – And we should expect it to be tumpin’ down the dances for the rest of the summer season and beyond. Joshua Beats (co-producer of J Hus’ breakthrough track Dem Boi Paigon) came with power producky and the hook has the singalong appeal of a certified street anthem.

So, DJ’s, Selectors and house party aux cable gang; your time!

#HARLEM🅾️

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

KEEPIN’ IT REAL

First of all I wanna send a shoutout to those who’ve been supporting the movement. From the early gang to the recent recruits. But I wanted to take this opportunity to address the inconsistency in our output since it’s conception.

The long and short of it all is that I – like many people – have been copping with an anxiety issue that has plagued my life for as long as I can remember, and a large proportion of it – of late – has been aggravated by habitual drug use – namely Cannabis. Although it was a drug of leisure, it became a debilitating habit that severely and adversely affected my personal and professional life.

Since giving up the smoking and seeking Therapy I’m now at a point where I can start to dedicate the required commitment to the cause that I am deeply passionate about.

We are not all the same and I’m not here to shit on cannabis use; I still understand the broader health benefits of the drug and it’s positive social attributes, but for some of us – particularly those with anxiety of a social nature – it can be incredibly debilitating when used habitually.

I am in know way out of the woods yet. But in seeking therapy and changing my lifestyle I now feel ready to commit to the necessary tasks to realise a vision.

None of us are perfect, and a lot of us need help. And as a man, it took a lot to admit that. So, I’m sharing this not only to reassure the people who follow WATSON ROSE that it aint over – and you should expect more consistent output. But to more importantly be another man willing to bare his wounds and inspire other people (men in particular) to assess their lives and allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to go through the necessary steps to being happier, healthier and more productive people. There’s no shame in admitting you have problems. But to hide them and not get the help you need IS a shame.

Thank you to everyone who’s shown support for me personally over this recent period and to all who have supported the website itself. #RESPEKANLOVE🙏🏾❤️

POSTED BY: TIMI WATSON-ROSE